• Biographical Description

  • Hello there! I am an associate professor in the Research Methods and Statistics Program at the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.

    I  teach courses in intermediate & advanced statistics, survey design, and research methods.

    With my past experiences in both applied statistics and child development, I have been actively involved in research studies funded at different levels in early development and children’s psychological well-beings. I am also a big fan of adopting instructional technology in statistics education

    My research interests are focused on two areas: first, methodological area in multilevel modeling using Structural Equation Modeling and Hierarchical Linear Modeling, and my substantive area is in parenting practice and school readiness in early childhood.

    In my spared time I love to practice yoga, play badminton, learn new baking recipes, and explore beautiful mountains on foot and ski with my family.

  • Teaching and Mentoring

  • Teaching Philosophy

    The MCE’s mission of “being a force for positive change” has been used to guide my teaching, student advising and mentoring. My goal is to promote positive change in the students’ professional life and teach them to embrace the notion of collaborative learning.  My teaching philosophy can be summarized in four dimensions:

    a) recognizing the individuality of students’ intellectual strengths and learning styles;

    b) creating a safe and enlightening learning environment for students at all the levels to contribute to the knowledge building process;

    c) encouraging students to take the lead in their learning and share their questions, experiences and views freely, and

    d) providing hands-on experiences in and out of classrooms.

    My student advising and mentoring philosophy is closely related to my teaching philosophy which emphasizing the importance of respecting students’ individuality and helping them tailor the program of study to best fit their research interests and career goals.

  • Course syllabi

  • RMS 4911 corr and reg syllabus_fall 2015.docx

  • RMS 4914 SEM syllabus_spring 2017.docx

  • RMS 4915 HLM syllabus_18 spring.docx

  • RMS 4916 LGCM syllabus_fall 2017.docx

  • RMS 4930 Course Syllabus_spring 17.docx

  • RMS 4931 SURVEY syllabus_ winter 17.docx

  • Contact

  • Duan Zhang, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Research Methods and Statistics

    Department of Research Methods and Information Science

    Morgridge College of Education

    University of Denver

    Email: duan.zhang@du.edu

    Katherine Ruffato Hall, Rm 232 

    1999 E Evans Ave Denver, CO 80208

    Tel: 303-871-3373


    Office hours: T 3-4PM & W 9:30-11:30am

  • Research Interests

  • As a quantitative research methodologist in social sciences I try to bridge the gap between the work accomplished by my fellow quantitative researchers and what is needed and useful for the field practitioners in substantive areas. My research interests include both methodological inquiries and substantive fields.

    My quantitative methodological research primarily deals with multilevel data, which refer to data collected with a nesting structure such as repeated measures nested within individual students who in turn are nested within different classrooms, and longitudinal data where individual observations are nested within time points.Although both SEM and HLM can be used to analyze multilevel data, there has not been much literature examining the difference in their applicability and functioning and alternative modeling approaches to them. My research extends this line of inquiry by adopting Monte Carlo studies to compare several modeling possibilities for multilevel data with a variety of practical issues such as lack of normality, insufficient sample sizes at different levels, and missing data. The point of interest is to inform empirical researchers by identifying under various data conditions some optimal analysis strategy which generates smallest standard errors and systematic bias yet still has adequate statistical power.

    My substantive research interest in early childhood development began before I even started the doctoral training in quantitative research methods. The root is in my childhood dream of becoming a daycare teacher. I am particularly interested in how at-risk children function and adjust to formal schooling contexts and if any what parents can do to help them with the transition from home to school.

  • Current Projects in Progress

    • Funded Public Good Grant at the University of Denver: Opening Doors to the Working World for Underrepresented Youth through Documenting K-12 Students’ Professional Competencies with Online Micro-credentials 

    • Conceptualization and measurement of Parent Involvement: Content Analysis and Meta Analysis (Manuscript in progress)
    • Multiple Imputation of missingness at Level 2 in Hierarchical Linear Modeling (Manuscript in progress)
    • Multiple imputation of missing data in SPSS and SAS: A Software Review (Conference presentation in progress)
  • Sponsored RMS/RMIS SIGs

    RMS SIG on Applied Statistics

    RMIS SIG on Graduate Student Parent Support Group

  • Recent Publications

  • Peer Reviewed Journals

    Franko, M., Zhang, D., & Hesbol, K.A. (2018). Alignment of learning experiences from Pre-K to kindergarten: Exploring group classifications using cluster analysis. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 16 (3), 229-244.  Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X18775761 

    Museus, S., Zhang, D., & Kim, M. (2016). Developing and Evaluating the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Scale: An Examination of Content and Construct Validity. Research in Higher Education, 57(6), 768-793. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-015-9405-8 

    Anyon, Y., Zhang, D, & Hazel, C. (2016). Race, Exclusionary Discipline and Connectedness to Adults in Secondary Schools. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57(3-4):342-52. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12061 

    Hilsendager, C. A., Zhang, D., McRae, C., & Aloia, M. (2015). Assessing the influence of obesity on longitudinal executive functioning performance in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.  Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 10 (1), 33-40. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2015.04.010 

    Peer Reviewed Professional Conferences

    Zhang, D. (2018). Assessing Parent Involvement: A Content Analysis of Current Measures. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of American Psychological Association, San Franscico, CA.

    Pearcy, K.-a. L., Zhang, D. (2018). Effects of Executive Functioning on Math Achievement: A LGCM Analysis From Kindergarten to 2nd Grade. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of American Psychological Association Convention, San Francisco, CA.

    Zhang, D. (2018) The Effects of Home Activities on Math Achievement in Elementary School. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, New York City.

    Burke, I. H., Zhang, D. (2018). Embracing Uncertainty: Defining a Structural Model of Public Library Use and Services Using Large-Scale Public Use Data. Paper presented at the 2018 Empirical Librarians Conference at the University of Tennesseee at Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee.

    Burke, I., & Zhang, D. (2015). Statistical Categorization Methods as Applied to Geographic Data. Poster presented at the International Meeting of Psychometric Society, Beijing, China.

    Zhang, D., & Tobiassen, C. (2015). Latent Growth Curve Modeling of Math Achievement and Home Practice in Elementary School. Poster presented at the International Meeting of Psychometric Society, Beijing, China.

    Song, S., Hazel, C., & Zhang, D. (2015). Emotional Disturbance and School Success: Preventing High School Dropout. Paper Presented at the National Conference for School Psychologists, Walt Disney Resort, FL.

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • dzhang CV_Aug 2018.docx

This portfolio last updated: 26-Sep-2018 10:41 AM